The ‘Fifth Branch’ of the Mabinogion & Some Plagiarizing Pagans

In 2008, an English academic who works with ancient and modern Celtic languages created “a piece of Iolosim,” in other words, a pseudo-ancient tale in the spirit of the Welsh literary forger and Druid revivalist Iolo Morganwg.

Written in Middle Welsh and “translated” into English, it purports to be a hitherto-unknown section of the Mabinogion, a famous collection of medieval Welsh tales with possibly older roots.

Imagine his surprise when he finds the whole thing—uncredited, of course—on a website devoted to “Keltic mysteries” and the revival of ancient Welsh Paganism, or some approximation thereof.

The ancient ‘Legend of Amaethon Uab Don’ quoted here as evidence for this mystic cosmological bollocks was penned over a month or so by yours truly, c. 2008, while glugging back the diet coke in Jesus College Oxford computer room. The website of this bunch of chumps not only has copied my entire text (in English and Middle Welsh), but also begins with a long and pompous screed about how wicked it is to steal other people’s material.

Anyone who read the “Fifth Branch’s” introduction carefully would have seen some signals that it was bogus—there is no “Judas College” at Oxford University, for one thing—but who reads carefully on the Internet when they are busy cutting and pasting?